My Favorite End-of-Year Teacher Tips

by | 06.7.22

Ashlee Walker is a teacher in Mississippi. Follow her on Twitter @HelloMrsWalker.

It’s the end of the school year, but we can still make the most of every day in the classroom. That’s why I’m excited to share my top end-of-year tips with this community. 

Now is a perfect time to use your creativity – and it can be simpler than you think. For example, in my classroom, we are working on astronomer brochures and space posters while listening to “instrumental chill” radio on Pandora. The playlist was a small addition to the activity, but it’s just enough newness to help students stay engaged and have more fun. Right now, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. So try looking for small shifts or fun additions to your lessons instead. 

Allowing some extra breaks also makes a huge difference in our remaining class time. Try taking your students outside to get fresh air, or allowing them to stay out a little longer for recess. You can also take the opportunity to let them in on your thinking: “We’re going to get some fresh air so we can stay focused and keep our energy up for today’s lesson.” 

Look for opportunities to affirm the expectations you’ve all held throughout the year, and help students practice follow-through. Continue to mean what you say and say what you mean. Keep modeling integrity and consistency and students will rise to meet you. 

While being extra mindful about your communication with students, don’t forget to be generous with your appreciation. As educators, we have an opportunity to help turn these end-of-year moments into lasting, positive memories for our students. Let students know that you appreciate them, celebrate the journeys you’ve had together this year, and don’t forget to take pictures. These are your memories too. 

As you’re all building memories, share your real-world wisdom. You may have graduating students in your class, but even if you don’t – the end of the school year is a powerful time for real-world advice. Students of all ages and stages are thinking about their futures. So teach your students things they can take with them over the summer as they reflect on and explore their next steps. 

Use this time to clear your physical and mental space. Find opportunities to declutter now so you don’t have to do it later. Ask yourself, “Can one of my colleagues use this?” If the answer is yes, give it away now. If the answer is no, throw it away without guilt. While you’re making that space, try letting go of any unfinished plans and enjoy the sense of possibilities that can create. 

Connect with supportive colleagues. Share supportive words, encourage one another, and make sure to say it out loud! 

Last but not least: Don’t give up. There are only a few days left before the end of the year, and it’s so important for all of us to stay present for our students and for ourselves. I hope these tips help you build some great memories and start your summer on a high note. 

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